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Software company Kingston Lane has made a name for itself in real estate marketing automation. Agents using its tools can get a lot done by doing very little.
It helps that the company’s CEO, Sharran Srivatsaa, seems as equally automated as the software he sells.
A ubiquitous presence in multiple Facebook channels, Srivatsaa often starts live broadcasts with a remarkably irritating but totally effective close-up finger dance, ensuring viewers want to continue watching almost as much as they wish he’d don a pair of iron mittens. His online personality bounces from a boyish, nonchalant California entrepreneur to indefatigable Fortune cover subject.
He’s no different in webinars, where he and President Steve Olsen swap control of their dual-screen pitches like a venture-backed Abbott & Costello. They fish for instant feedback on new features and pepper their audience with self-effacing mea culpas about the challenges of delivering so much for so little. It’s beautiful sales.
I sat in recently on the pair’s first, live presentation of The Machine, a new collection of online prospecting and nurturing features.
It’s clear from the utter delight on Srivatsaa’s face, and the pace at which he scribbles live notes with his stylus, that he relishes in opportunities to tell agents that most of what they’re doing today in terms of lead nurturing is wrong and that his software can correct it.
This is the guy that helped grow Teles Properties by 10x in five years and led its sale to Douglas Elliman. It’s not like he doesn’t have the credibility. And there’s no question he comes off as earnest.
Agents put new leads through forced conversations, according to Srivatsaa. He calls the sudden barrage of listing alerts, automated texts, call-a-thons and impersonal email campaigns “10 days of pain.”
The Machine is more philosophy than process, and it leads to its users being “known, liked and trusted.”
For Srivatsaa and Olsen, it’s all about building a list, and serving the list, which is what The Machine was developed to handle on behalf of users.
In other words, it’s not doing the business that agents have a hard time with, according to Srivatsaa, it’s getting the business.
The software starts with a series of Facebook ads created on your behalf, pre-targeted to your market.
You can have as little or as much input on the creative and budget as desired. You can choose from eight different campaign types, and a broad swath of performance metrics for each are included.
Along with leads from advertising, those from other sources, such as Zillow, your website or open houses, are subjected to source-specific nurturing campaigns.
This means leads from Zillow about a specific listing or from an event of some kind will be recognized as such in automated follow-ups and touches. Those campaigns are run by the subtly named “Beast,” a system that operates a lifetime nurture campaign, ceasing only when the buyer or seller lead makes legitimate personal contact.
Any customer relationship management platform (CRM) can work alongside The Machine, and staff at Kingston Lane will even enter names into your database from manual open house sign-ups. It can also attempt to re-engage with older, forgotten-about contacts.
The Beast is a network of Zapier-linked sequences that manage multiple chains of outreach tactics such as seasonal emails, texts, lifestyle social media posts, VIP email lists and even video editing. Agents can send Kingston Lane raw footage and they’ll polish it for publication.
It also offers connections to Calendly, a tool for smoother appointment setting. The Machine can be rolled-out for teams and set-up for round-robin lead assignment.
When you’re able to distill Srivatsaa’s on-camera enthusiasm from his software’s features, you’re left with a totally hands-off solution for getting more appointments with people. And there’s irony in that.
Real estate, after all, comes down to people talking to people. It appears we’ve entered an age in which we’re dependent on software to make our introductions.
Then again, Kingston Lane still recognizes the value of personal events and handwritten open house registries. The Machine merely wants to offer users another way to connect with those who need their services.
Srivatsaa reminded webinar participants that consumers will always want options.
Just ask Opendoor.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe